The house is silent and cognac tickles the back of my throat: a gentle burn all the way to my inner ear. I can hear the drier tumbling away downstairs, and the constant white noise of the blower in the wood stove. But the place is too quiet in Chuck's absence.
His step-father is ill, out in Santa Barbara. I kissed him goodbye when I left the house this morning, thinking that he would be here when I got home; he called me at about 9:30AM, though, and told me that Papa had spent the night in the hospital, and that he was thinking of going out there. By ten, his bag was packed and by eleven, he was driving to California. Maybe he will stay there for a week. It's so odd to be with a man who is self-employed. He doesn't need to get time off or decide when he will return. He can just go. It fills me with admiration that he loves his family as much as he does. And, if you are a long term reader of my blog, you may know that I waited too long to go home, and my dad died before I was able to get there. I'm glad he could go. Not that I think Papa is going to die. I'm just appreciative that Chuck is able to make his own decisions about his time.
I miss him, though. I like to have a long chat with him after I get home from work. If he were here, I would tell him that we had the first meeting of the Furnishings Task Force today. I'm on it: huzzah! My school is relocating to a brand new building, currently under construction, in August; and the preparations for moving are already under way. The task force has to figure out stuff like: what is built-in versus modular versus a furnishing; what is worth taking with us when we move; whether other items can be sold; what furnishings we need and how many? Attendees spent part of the time peering at a vast spreadsheet itemizing every possible furnishing from chairs to an ice machine; and part of the time gazing at detailed floor plans depicting cupboards, shelves, counters with cupboards below; cupboards above, etc..etc..
Tonight's big story at school was Adriana R.'s bloody nose. I noticed that Adriana was contending with a small nosebleed not long after she arrived for classes at 7 PM. It got worse. One of the other students took her to the cafeteria where she could get more paper towels when it started to flow pretty fast. I found her there, applied pressure to the bridge of her nose and put a bag of ice on her neck, then her forehead. At about 7:45 it stopped bleeding and she decided to go back to her class.
Only a short time later, though, I found her standing by the trashcan in her classroom, bleeding. A lot. She could barely get tissues to her nose fast enough and some of the other students and volunteers were getting nervous. I took her down to the teachers' lounge We have a sofa in there; so I got her to sit down with her face over a trash can, got a couple bails of napkins and more ice. It just gushed on and on. Another student came downstairs to check on us and before long, I was holding ice on Adriana's forehead while the other student and I each put pressure on one side of Adriana's nose.
After an hour and a half, she was dizzy and hucking big gouts of blood from the back of her throat.
No way was that nose going to stop bleeding!
Husband at work in Bountiful, about 30 minutes away.
Husband with no cell phone.
No kids in the family old enough to drive.
No clinic within a half-hour that was still open.
Finally, we got the name of her husband and the number for the place where he works. I called the number and asked if someone could please go find Francisco, tell him it was a medical emergency, and he needed to come down to Salt Lake City. He showed up at about 9 PM with their teenage son, and they left for the ER. I'll call her tomorrow and see how she is feeling.
It was nerve wracking. I don't mind blood (although in this instance there was so much that I changed the trash bag in the staff lounge afterward, so as not to scare the night custodian). I get tense when I can't decide what to do. ER or no ER? Will this pass or is it getting worse? Could she actually faint?
So, I am exhausted, not because I had so many things happen tonight, but because this one big thing happened. That was the most blood I have seen in my life.
My cognac is going to my head. Time for bed.